Singaporean helmers get $1.56 mil

Nine budding directors get $173K each

SINGAPORE -- Nine budding Singaporean directors have each received $173,000 from the Singapore Film Commission's New Feature Film Fund toward their first feature-length film, the Media Development Authority of Singapore announced Friday.

Launched earlier this year, the New Feature Film Fund aims to nurture aspiring talent looking for their first big break. In addition to receiving money, the budding directors will be paired with an experienced helmer and their first efforts will be slated for local theatrical release through Golden Village Pictures.

Up to $14,000 in advertising and promotional assistance may also be given out by the SFC.

The commission received 39 applications and shortlisted 24 for pitching.

Except for director Wee Li Lin, who's already shot "Gone Shopping," all the writer-directors selected are venturing into feature films for the first time.

"The final nine reveal that there is indeed a dormant pool of hidden creative talent among filmmakers in Singapore," noted Kenneth Tan, director of SFC and chief operating officer of MDA.

Among them, Alaric Tay's "Thunder Boys" will be the first co-production with Japan, casting actors from Singapore, Japan and China.